Cantillon Tap Room – Impressions from Brussels

Visiting the Cantillon tap roomAt the old traditional lambic brewery Cantillon, the tap room has really become an international attraction. Just a few years ago Cantillon was a dusty old museum that served a couple of beers at the end of the tour. But now, the Cantillon tap room is a vibrant place where beer geeks from around the world come to taste and share some amazing beers, including a lot of rarities.

When visiting Brussels a few weeks ago, we stayed in a hostel in the Western part of the city. This is far from the institutions of the European Union. It’s a cheap place to live and it looks cheap and poor. But our hostel was right between the Moeder Lambic beer bar, and the Cantillon brewery, which was perfect.

Læs mere Cantillon Tap Room – Impressions from Brussels

3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera

3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera geuze in a proper lambic basketAnother snapshot from Brussels. Visiting one of the sacred places of lambic beer. And drinking the amazing sherry cask aged geuze 3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera. A big advantage of being in Brussels by car was that we could spend Saturday morning driving out to Beersel, visiting 3 Fonteinen and Oud Beersel and then returning to the city after a great lunch at 3 Fonteinen Restaurant.

The highlight of the whole trip was the beer for our lunch. The rare and sought after 3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera was worth the hype and the 50 Euros. A great experience. The lambic has been matured for a year on old Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, and then blended into a fine geuze.  Læs mere 3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera

Running list – Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival

Glass and post cards. Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival 2016As I write this, the biggest annual beer event here in Odense is just opening. To pace myself, I wait a few hours to join. The beer list was only published yesterday after I had written a blog about the event, so here is a supplement with the running list along with a few recommendations.

The beers will all be changed every morning and every evening at 6pm. The cask ales will be a little more stable, simply because Thornbridge Jaipur and the golden ales from Crouch Vale are ridiculously popular. In a seperate tent, put up to double capacity, the programme is also more stable, with seven taps being the same all weekend, and five more used for leftovers from the main bar. Læs mere Running list – Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival

Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival 2016

Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival. Lovely pint of golden aleSince its more humble beginning as the pub’s ten years anniversary celebration, Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival has become an institution on the local beer scene in Odense. It’s a celebration of hoppy beer, and more than 100 different beers will be on tap during this weekend. Lots of Danish beers but also hoppy beers from around the world.

It all begins tomorrow, Thursday 5 May at noon, and until Saturday night, beers will rotate twice a day. Every day at opening, and again at 6pm, all the beers will change, meaning that 40 different beers will be served each day. It’s Ascension Day tomorrow, and it’s a public holiday in Denmark, meaning that every year, there is a sunny weekend in May where Danes have Thursday off, and often also Friday. All in all, the perfect time for the three day Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival. Læs mere Christian Firtal Pale Ale Festival 2016

Brasserie De La Senne – Impressions from Brussels

De La Senne Taras BoulbaI was in Brussels this weekend, and I think I’m going to write a few little “postcards” from important places in Brussels. Our trip had two main purposes: To visit Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen, and to drink a lot of fresh and delicious De La Senne beer. We succeeded.

While much Belgian beer is sweet and strong, De La Senne have almost found their own niche with low alcohol, golden hoppy ales. There are a few other breweries who are brewing some nice hoppy pale ales, and saison is making a come back, but De La Senne have perfected this kind of beer. Læs mere Brasserie De La Senne – Impressions from Brussels

Review: Thisted Bryghus Goldings and Target

Thisted Bryghus Goldings and TargetThisted Bryghus is an old Danish brewery with a long tradition. It has survived as independent while most breweries in Denmark were bought and closed by Carlsberg and a couple of other big players. They have a fantastic core range of beers, including Denmark’s first organic beer and the world famous Limfjordsporter. And then they make a lot of other beers.

Last year they started an Anglo-American range with three American styles that I reviewed in Danish back then. This year they have presented three English styles. Here is a review of two of them, a pale ale hopped with Goldings and a brown ale hopped with Target. The third beer is Pilgrim, an oatmeal stout hopped with Pilgrim, no wait, with First Gold hops. Læs mere Review: Thisted Bryghus Goldings and Target

Amager Bryghus and Nøgne Ø Collaboration Brew Day

The people from Amager Bryghus and Nøgne Ø
The people from Amager Bryghus and Nøgne Ø

Amager Bryghus has a grand tradition of inviting other breweries to do collaboration brews. At long last it was time to invite the Norwegians from Nøgne Ø. In the past decade both breweries have been on Ratebeer’s Top 100 Breweries in the world. And if we look at actual, physical breweries, there should be no discussion that they’re the two most respected breweries in Scandinavia.

They are two of my very favourite breweries in the world, and I’m really looking forward to taste the result of this brew day. But first things first. I arrived at the brewery at 10am. Mashing hadn’t even begun yet, but in their defense, Amager Bryghus’ brewer René had already brewed a batch of Hr. Frederiksen earlier that “day”.  Læs mere Amager Bryghus and Nøgne Ø Collaboration Brew Day

Fullers Vintage Ale, three year vertical

Fullers Vintage Ale 2015Fullers Vintage Ale is a beer love story that goes back a long way for me. I have always had a weakness for good barleywine, strong beers with a vineous quality and a sweetness like dessert wine – other than that, I don’t like sweet beers at all. No sugar or caramel taste for me, please.

As the name suggests, Fullers Vintage Ale is a beer worth keeping, and furthermore, it’s a beer that changes a little from year to year. It’s always a matter of taste how long to cellar such a beer, but it certainly needs a little time. Some years I have had it when it debuted at the Great British Beer Festival i August, and it’s been too fresh, too sharp at that time. Just half a year helps it to a more rounded character. Læs mere Fullers Vintage Ale, three year vertical

Nine Places to Drink Czech Lager in Prague

Four wonderful glasses of fresh Jihomestsky Svetly Lezak
Four glasses of fresh Jihomestsky Svetly Lezak

When visiting Prague as a beer tourist, there is a lot to do these days, but don’t forget what they’re best at: The classic Czech lager!. Last weekend, I was in Prague on a short beer trip with four friends. I didn’t have any blog writings planned, but just wanted to see what I felt inspired to write about. The trip ended up as a celebration of the Czech lager styles, so it turned out to be pretty easy.

There is a very lively beer scene in Prague, with new beer bars opening all the time, but as a foreigner, I go there to drink the fresh pilsner that you just can’t get at the same level anywhere else in the world. I’d better apologize in advance, that I will be writing out Czech words simplified in standard lettering, without the correct Czech accents. Læs mere Nine Places to Drink Czech Lager in Prague

De Dolle Brouwers Stille Nacht, Christmas Beer Vertical

De Dolle Brewers Stille Nacht in three vintagesDe Dolle Brouwers Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is one of the most famous Christmas beers in the world. It’s also well known as a beer with great cellaring potential. It is such a potent beer that it’s definitely not at its best when it’s fresh, but should be aged at least a year to calm it down and mellow it out a little.

I had a case of vintage 2008 that I only finished a couple of years ago, and now I’m buying a few bottles a year to have a selection of older bottles. As the 2008 got older, I didn’t think it changed much from one year to the next, but in the first few years there are big differences. That’s why I have done a vertical tasting of the three most recent vintages, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Læs mere De Dolle Brouwers Stille Nacht, Christmas Beer Vertical